Celebrate writing at Manchester Literature Festival

The-Royal-Exchange-Manchester-cr-Judy-Darley

This year’s Manchester Literature Festival promises a mixture of digital and real-world events celebrating writing in all its forms.

With #MLF LIVE from 9th-17th October and #MLF DIGITAL from 1st-14th November, there will be plenty to ignite imaginations, inspiration and an appreciation of how we can make sense of our world through reading, writing and experiencing literature.

Live highlights include:

Jeanette Winterson and Mark O’Connell in Conversation with Kate Feld.

Saturday 9th October 2021, (Central Library)

An Evening with Bernardine Evaristo
Monday 11 October 2021, (HOME Theatre)

An Evening with Colm Tóibín,

Thursday 14 October 2021 (Central Library)

Tenement Kid: Bobby Gillespie in Conversation
Saturday 16 October 2021, 8pm, HOME (Theatre)

Malika Booker, Vahni Capildeo & Jason Allen-Paisant

Sunday 17 October 2021 (Central Library)

Look out for exclusive commissions by exciting contemporary poets responding to our current times.

Celebrated poet and musician Roger Robinson was commissioned by Manchester Literature Festival to write a new series of poems exploring the idea of Black Lives Matter and how it pertains to the Black British experience.

A rising poetry star Caleb Femi was commissioned by Manchester Literature Festival to write new poems exploring the impact of solitude during the pandemic, touching on themes of the inner and physical self, friendship, joy and imagination as a coping tool.

California-born poet and the Director at the Centre for Imagination in the Borderlands at Arizona State University Natalie Diaz was commissioned by Manchester Literature Festival to write a series of poetic sensualities exploring the words ‘origin’, ‘migration’, ‘freedom’ and ‘love.’ The Festival say: “A deeply lyrical poet, she created linguistic maps of these words in English and Mojave, diving deep into their roots and the ways in which they echo in physical connection.

Find out more about these commissions and all the Manchester Literature Festival events: www.manchesterliteraturefestival.co.uk.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send an email to judydarley (at) iCloud (dot) com.

Enter Mslexia’s poetry competitions

Button on Kilve Beach cr Judy DarleyMslexia’s competitions for poetry pamphlets and individual poems are open for entries, so now’s the time to ensure every word earns its place in your work.

Both competitions have a closing date of 7th December 2020, and are open to women of any nationality from any country.

The first prize of the pamphlet competition is £250 plus publication by Seren Books.

The entry fee is £20 per pamphlet.

The judge Amy Wack, is Poetry Editor at Seren Books and started her career with Seren in 1989. She was reviews editor for Poetry Wales before becoming commissioning poetry editor.

The annual pamphlet competition  welcomes completed collections of up to 24 pages of up to 20 poems. The poems may be in any style, of any length, on any subject.

In addition to the top prize of £250, the winning pamphlet will be published in 2021 by Seren Books. One or more poems from the pamphlet will be published in Mslexia in June 2021.

Each £20 entry fee allows you to enter one pamphlet. You may enter as many times as you like, provided each collection is accompanied by the £20 entry fee.

The first prize of the poetry competition is £2,000. The entry fee is £10 for up to three poems. You can enter as many poems as you like, provided each trio is accompanied by the £10 entry fee

Poems may be any length, in any style, and on any subject.

Entries will be judged Karen McCarthy Woolf, whose poems have take roost in numerous publications, including her collection An Aviary of Small Birds, which was shortlisted for both the Forward Felix Dennis and Fenton Aldeburgh prizes. Her poems have been translated into Spanish, Turkish and Swedish, selected for Poems on the Underground, and made into poetry films.

As well as £2,000, the winner will receive two optional extras: a one-to-one feedback session with acclaimed poet Malika Booker; and a one-week retreat at Cove Park Centre in Scotland. The second-place poet will receive £500; the third-place poet will receive £250 and 17 runners up will receive £25. All winners and runners up will be published in the March 2021 issue of Mslexia.

In addition, there is a special prize of £250 for the best poem by a previously-unpublished woman poet.

To find out more and enter, comprehensive Poetry and Pamphlet Competition FAQs, and make sure you read the rules before entering.

You can find full details of how to enter at www.mslexia.co.uk.

Manchester Poetry and Fiction Prizes

The-Royal-Exchange-Manchester-cr-Judy-DarleyManchester Writing Competition 2020 is open to online and postal entries of poetry and fiction. Each category offers a £10,000 first prize.

The competitions were instigated in 2008 by by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy in 2008. The aim was designed to attract the best new writing from around the world, and to establish Manchester as a literary focal point.

The deadline for all entries is 5pm GMT on 18th September 2020. The entry fee for both contests is £18, with a limited number of reduced price entries  available to writers who might not otherwise be able to take part

The chair of poetry judges is Malika Booker. The £10,000 prize will go to the writer of the best portfolio of three to five poems (maximum combined length: 120 lines). Find full details and enter on the Poetry Prize page.

The chair of fiction judges is Nicholas Royle. The writer of the winning short story of up to 2,500 words will be awarded £10,000. Find full details and enter on the Fiction Prize page.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley(@)ICloud(dot)com.